Posted On May 11, 2023 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches
May 11 – Bristol Community College (BCC) reported a data breach to the Office of the Maine Attorney General on May 10, 2023, after discovering that sensitive information belonging to staff and students had been compromised in a cyberattack. According to the company’s formal report, the breach exposed consumers’ names, driver’s license information, birth dates, Social Security numbers, bank account details, debit and credit card numbers, protected health information, state ID numbers, and passport numbers. BCC started distributing data breach notification letters to all persons affected by the incident when it was confirmed that customer data was compromised.
Data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are now investigating the incident at BCC. We are giving free consultations to anybody who has received a breach notification, is worried about identity theft, and would like to understand more about their legal options for seeking compensation from Bristol Community College.
The main campus of Bristol Community Institution is located in Fall River; the college also has other campuses in Taunton, New Bedford, and Attleboro. BCC has been around since 1965, and it presently has about 11,000 students and over 430 employees. The college has about 1,028 employees and brings in about $33 million per year in income.
As reported on the college’s website and in a report filed with the Maine Attorney General’s office, BCC learned that a third party gained access to its network between December 13, 2022 and December 14, 2022. Bristol Community College has hired cybersecurity experts to conduct an investigation into the matter and determine the scope of the breach and the extent to which student and staff information was compromised.
According to the findings of the investigation conducted by BCC, an outsider gained access to the institution’s computer system, allowing them to see files containing personal information belonging to students and staff.
Bristol Community College immediately started reviewing the affected files to identify what information was stolen and how many customers were affected after learning that sensitive customer data had been made accessible to an unauthorized entity. Your name, driver’s license number, birth date, Social Security number, financial account information, debit and credit card numbers, protected health information, health insurance information, state ID number, passport number, Medicaid/Medicaid number, and other personal identifiers may have been compromised.
Bristol Community College notified those whose personal information was exposed by sending letters on May 10, 2023.
If you get a notice of a data breach from Bristol Community College, it is very probable that your personal information was compromised in the incident. Your identity and Social Security number can now be in the hands of a hacker.
Consumers may have felt secure disclosing personal information to BCC since it is a reputable institution. This data issue casts doubt on BCC’s readiness and proactivity in relation to security standards. While BCC was compromised, it was also a critical safeguard for customer information. If it can be shown that BCC was negligent with your data because of things like outdated technology, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the firm.
The consumer privacy lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. help customers affected by data and security breaches pursue legal solutions by offering free consultations. By explaining your rights in clear, concise terms, we help you make an informed decision about your next steps. If you are a victim of the Bristol Community College data breach, Console & Associates, P.C. will investigate at no charge to you and offer advice on how to proceed. If you decide to pursue a case, rest assured that we don’t get paid unless you do. If your claim is successful, legal fees are either paid out of the funds recovered or by the defendant. If your claim is not successful, you pay nothing.
Below is a portion of the letter sent to affected individuals:
We are writing with important information regarding a recent security incident. The privacy and security of the personal information we maintain is of the utmost importance to Bristol Community College. We wanted to provide you with information about the incident, explain the services we are making available to you, and let you know that we continue to take significant measures to protect your information. What Happened? We discovered unauthorized access to our network that occurred between December 14 and December 23, 2022.
What We Are Doing. We immediately launched an investigation in consultation with external national cybersecurity professionals who regularly investigate and analyze these types of situations to determine the extent of any compromise to the information on our network. We simultaneously worked around the clock to restore our current systems. We also promptly reported the intrusion to federal authorities. This was an arduous task requiring significant effort, as the college’s systems have many layers, access points, and security stop gaps.
What Information Was Involved? Based on our extensive forensic investigation and manual document review, which concluded on April 10, 2023, we discovered that your full name and the following information were removed from our network in connection with this incident: [Redacted].
What You Can Do. To date, we are not aware of any reports of identity fraud or improper use of your information as a direct result of this incident. Out of an abundance of caution, we want to make you aware of the incident, explain the services we are making available to help safeguard you against identity fraud, and suggest steps that you should take. To protect you from potential misuse of your information, we are offering a complimentary one-year membership of Experian IdentityWorksSM Credit 3B. This product helps detect possible misuse of your personal information and provides you with identity protection services focused on immediate identification and resolution of identity theft. IdentityWorks Credit 3B is completely free to you and enrolling in this program will not impact your credit score.
For more information on identity theft prevention and IdentityWorks Credit 3B, including instructions on how to activate your free one-year membership, please see the additional information provided in this letter. It is important that you take the steps to enroll as soon as possible.